Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
Lichen simplex chronicus is a skin disorder characterized by an itching inflammation of the top layer of the skin.
Lichen simplex chornicus may result from an irritation of the skin, causing the person to rub or scratch the area. This causes thickening of the skin. The thickening skin itches, causing more scratching and more thickening.
The cause of lichen simplex chronicus is unknown, but psychological factors, such as anxiety and depression, may play a role. The condition doesn’t seem to be allergic. It may be a result of something rubbing or scratching the skin, causing the person to scratch the area. It is common among Asians and Native Americans, and usually develops in people who are between the ages of 20 and 50.
Lichen simplex chronicus can occur anywhere on the body. In the early stages, the skin looks normal, but it itches. Later, dryness, scaling, and dark patches develop as a result of the scratching and rubbing.
The diagnosis of lichen simplex chronicus is based on the appearance of the skin, and a history of chronic itching and scratching.
For lichen simplex chronicus to clear up, the person must stop scratching and rubbing the skin. Control of stress and other emotional conditions may be helpful in the prevention of this condition.
The skin lesions of lichen simplex chronicus may persist for years and are prone to secondary infection and scarring.
There are no risks to others, as lichen simplex chronicus is not contagious.
Treatment of lichen simplex chronicus may include:
Side effects of treatment depend on the medication used. They may include drowsiness, dry mouth, and allergic reactions.
Lichen simplex chronicus skin lesions generally clear up completely with treatment. However, they may recur later.
Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.